Audrey & Vernon on Labour and Goff

January 23rd, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

First Audrey:

At Tuesday’s caucus meeting in Manukau, Goff will be confirmed resolutely as leader. Under the party’s rules the leadership must be addressed in the first caucus of the year before election year.

Before inviting the caucus back to his Clevedon farm for dinner, he will deliver a short message to his MPs – do better than you did last year.

The implication must be that if they don’t shape up, they will be shipped out.

That is a fair message, as some in have not performed and are missing in action, such as Parekura. Goff should seriously consider a front bench reshuffle and sticking up some of the 2008 intake. He also needs to think about signals to former Ministers – ie does he see a place for them as a Minister, if should win. Then they can make decisions about retiring, and allow further new blood in next election.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Chris Carter had a shocking year, due in no small part to his reaction to media stories about about high travel costs. He will miss the first caucus meeting because he is in the Caribbean monitoring elections for the Commonwealth.

Parekura Horomia made no impact against the Maori Party but is seen as untouchable because he held his seat against it, and is the senior Maori.

Shane Jones, whose leadership ambitions are a frequent source of teasing by National, made no impact in his areas of environment and economic development, but was de facto Maori Affairs spokesman.

And David Cunliffe, whose leadership ambitions are a regular source of teasing within Labour, will be expected to do better against Finance Minister Bill English.

One could suggest Shane and DC need to concentrate on their portfolios, and not ’s :-)

Goff is expected to lead a concerted effort this year to make Cunliffe and other MPs put ordinary working people uppermost in their minds as they develop their portfolios and policies.

Is it just me, or the way many Labour MPs talk about “ordinary working people”, they sound like a curator at a museum who is enthused about studying them!

Vernon Small writes:

Labour leader Phil Goff’s job will be on the line at the party’s first caucus meeting of the year on Tuesday, but he is confident no challenger will emerge.

The party’s leadership is always on the agenda at the first caucus meeting of the middle year of each parliamentary term, but despite’s National’s jibes that he is “fill-in Phil” – an interim leader while Labour regroups – Mr Goff is so confident he has invited his team to a barbecue at his Clevedon home … bringing with it the inevitable jokes.

I agree that Goff will not face a challenge this January, and I doubt he will next January either. The odds are that he will remain Leader until the 2011 election (and I have money on iPredict that his job is safe this year).

There will be a bit of a danger period for him – it is the second half of 2010. If National is still 20 points ahead in the polls a couple of months after the 2010 budget (which is the most likely game changer between now and the election), then some in Labour may start to get nervous.

However two things should keep Goff in the job even if Labour remain 20 points behind. The first is the lack of confidence in the alternatives. The second is MMP. Under FPP, MPs would panic at bad poll ratings as them losing their seat meant the end of their political career. But with MMP those on good list positions are insulated from all but the most disastrous election results. So the propensity to panic for self survival is lessened.

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15 Responses to “Audrey & Vernon on Labour and Goff”

  1. CharlieBrown (923 comments) says:

    If National is still 20 points ahead of labour after the budget then it probably means that:
    A) – National have dealt out a “safe” budget, doing nothing more than tinkering around the edges but still continues to punnish high earners and havn’t increased GST
    B) – National introduce a land-tax however it will exclude pensioners, farmers, commercial properties, maori trusts, in the end leaving it up to middle income renters and homeowners to bear the burden, however placating these people by cutting taxes accordingly.
    C) – National have brought in something from leftfield like bringing in all those taxes but having some complicated form of redistribution to lower incomes, still punnishing the rich but changes perceptions of most voters for the short term.

    If john key has any guts to do whats needed, then he will have to do something that hurts his popularity. There is plenty of opportunity for Phil Goff to make inroads into JK’s popularity.

    [DPF: I think it is very stupid to demand that he Govt get more unpopular and that this is the only way it can be seen to be doing good stuff. I want the Govt to do some tax reform and stay popular, because most of the public commend them for taking some hard calls to improve our economic situation.

    Do not equate unpopularity with doing the right thing.]

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  2. Michael (899 comments) says:

    Phil Goff can remind his caucus that his predecessor was seen as out of touch and irrelevant for the first four years of her leadership. Things can change.

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  3. Pete George (23,310 comments) says:

    Is it just me, or the way many Labour MPs talk about “ordinary working people”, they sound like a curator at a museum who is enthused about studying them!

    They just sound like wishful thinking or full of themselves politicians, it’s quite common to here “people of NZ” and “people of Auckland” (Banks). It’s condescending.

    In this case Labour are fooling themselves if the think “ordinary working people” are automatic votes for them (and therefore agree mostly with their policies and performance). I think I’m a fairly ordinary working person and I’m far from an automatic vote for them. I have voted for them sometimes before, and may vote for them again if I think the deserve it, but not in the forseeable future.

    Traditional voting patterns are last century. The deciding voting bloc are moderate independents, swing voters. Quite a lot of them will be “ordinary working people”, and by the look of the polls at the moment they are not inclined much towards Labour.

    Rather than trying to tell certain groups of people what they think, they need to learn to earn respect by saying and doing the sorts of things that ordinary people can relate to. I don’t hear it much at the moment.

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  4. CharlieBrown (923 comments) says:

    “Do not equate unpopularity with doing the right thing”

    I’m not saying that thats whats required if you want to be popular. However, I predict that if he does the right thing in this case will make him lose some popularity. Just as was the case when Bollard kept interest rates high, as was the case when Douglas and co deregulated NZ in the 80′s.

    John Key has put himself between a rock and a hard place, unless he does nothing, he is going to lose popularity with the swing voters.

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  5. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    And here is Monkey Boy on Labour and Goff: http://monkeyswithtypewriter.blogspot.com/2010/01/spectre-of-unemployment.html
    and is it just me but does the over-use of the term ‘ordinary kiwis’ by first Clark, and now Goff make you want to pass the sick bag??

    With thanx – Lee MWT

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  6. Komata (1,142 comments) says:

    So Mr Goff, leader of the ‘Labour’ Party – the party which is supposedly of and for the ‘workers’ and the ‘oppressed’, is revealed as a farmer? Odd that, as I understood that the farmers and the ‘farming-class’ were the traditional class-enemy of ‘true’ labour, yet here we have the leader of the ‘workers party’ (who has never ‘worked’ or ‘laboured’ in the conventioanl sense of the word), now revealed as being one of the self-same, feared, loathed and hated farming class.

    Does anyone else see a contradiction here – and wonder what other ‘interesting’ capitalist-type secrets lurk in the upper echelons of the so-called ‘people’s’ party?

    Obviusly, Mr Goff subscribes to the Orwellian’ ‘all pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others dictum’ and, like Napoleon (the animals leader in the same volume) sees no contradiction in interacting with ‘the farmers’.

    On the basiis of this revelation, I wonder therefore if ardent Lbour Party supporters ever feel that the following sentence from ‘Animal Farm’ , (recalled perhaps imperfectly) applies to them: ‘. . . the animals looked from pig to farmer, from farmer to pig, then looked again, and again, and again, from one to the other, but they could not tell the difference’

    Perhaps, with their leader now a ‘farmer’ the effect will be the same. .

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  7. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,830 comments) says:

    No he’s not a farmer. He’s not even a farmer’s arse. He wouldn’t know how to farm his way out of a wet paper bag. He’s a rich prick city slicker who uselessly occupies what would otherwise be productive land.

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  8. Anthony (785 comments) says:

    It will be very interesting to see if Labour come out in support of a capital gains tax. Do they really want to be seen as the party that supports landlords who have got the pip with National? That is if National does have to balls to make sure property investment is taxed failry.

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  9. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    Agree Adolf F – The mere mention that Goff is a farmer makes me cringe actually being a farmer…..

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  10. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Fuck Audrey & Vernon really need to get a life. 1 year and they still into obituaries.

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  11. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    “Is it just me, or the way many Labour MPs talk about “ordinary working people”, they sound like a curator at a museum who is enthused about studying them!”

    Labour are still run by a bunch of lifer politicians, ex-union reps, ex-teachers and pol sci academics – probability of them having any f*cking idea what ordinary want is fairly slim given their romantic ideas of what ‘ordinary’ is are probably about 20 years out of date. See result of last election.

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  12. tautokai.baxter (199 comments) says:

    I suspect Shane Jones will become a lot more active this year.

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  13. David in Chch (512 comments) says:

    Pete George (3347):
    January 23rd, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    On the money, PG. On the money.

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  14. jaba (2,095 comments) says:

    tb .. Jones is a bright guy and obviously astute BUT he will not be Leader. The reason is, my opinion only, that he talks in riddles.

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  15. tautokai.baxter (199 comments) says:

    Yeah he does have a tendency for over-oratry and I don’t see him being the first Maori Prime-Minister but hes one of the good ones in Labour.

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